Slow Motion Change

Shiwa is in a state of change, but it’s a slow motion change. One that’s been going on for more than a generation. The agricultural sector is shrinking, and in the central part of town, the part sprawled along national highway Route 4, fields are being replaced with housing developments. Given the difficulty of freeing land resources and the established tradition of close quarter living, these new neighborhoods are as packed as the old business district.

The houses are nothing like the suburbs from my childhood in Colorado. They have just enough space between them for a car or two and no yards. Asphalt and gravel cover the ground from the street to the doors. The soil beneath is so fertile that despite these efforts weeds still push up in unlikely places.

This may be ideal for commuters who use Shiwa for a bedroom, but the newly confined space reduces the green and shrinks the sky.